Local markets are a real asset to communities and a popular national tradition in the UK. They bring social and economic benefits to communities, providing bargains for shoppers, lively attractions for families and visitors, and an environment for legitimate, local businesses to trade successfully.
However, they also offer opportunities for illegal traders, particularly in counterfeit and pirated goods. This can have a detrimental effect on local communities with consumers left out of pocket with poor quality or potentially harmful goods, and legitimate businesses losing out as a result.
With the aim of tackling this issue, Perth & Kinross Council’s Trading Standards team and the operators of Errol Sunday Market have joined forces in a new partnership initiative called Real Deal. This is designed to support businesses and shoppers alike and give them confidence that their particular market operates within the terms of the nationwide Real Deal Charter. Errol Sunday Market has grown from modest beginnings to become Scotland’s largest market and car boot operation, with a wide range of quality traders complementing the 250+ car booters attending weekly.
At the heart of the Real Deal partnership is the National Markets’ Charter, which sets out the key principles for market operators, local authority trading standards services, industry and trademark representatives to abide by. The Council and Errol Sunday Market have signed up to this charter, but also have a local code of practice in place covering both its practical and operational aspects.
Community Safety Convener, Councillor Douglas Pover said: “Our Trading Standards Principal Officer and the Market Manager have worked closely together in the past to keep Kinross Sunday Market free of illegal products. Their efforts led to the presentation of a Joint Anti-Piracy Award from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) recognising their ‘highly determined and focused work’ in this area.
This strong partnership approach, and the agreed code of practice, will provide the market operators with the support they need to continue their good work to protect local people and visitors alike from the scourge of illegal traders.”
Manager of Errol Sunday Market, Keith Payne said: “It’s vital that legitimate businesses and consumers alike can feel confident that they are trading and shopping in a safe, fair environment. The close working relationship we have with Trading Standards along with the local code of practice in place means we can stay focussed on giving visitors a enjoyable day out. The result is that we are being very strict on quality and preventing illegal traders from gaining access to Errol Sunday Market.”
Sergeant James Thomson, Community Co-ordinator Perth & Carse for Police Scotland said: “We’re pleased to support this initiative locally to discourage illegal traders and help prevent people from being ripped off with counterfeit or pirated goods.”
On behalf of the Real Deal campaign, the project’s coordinator, Patricia Lennon, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Errol Sunday Market to the Real Deal scheme. By joining forces to introduce the Real Deal Charter, Perth & Kinross Trading Standards team and the market management are sending a strong ‘keep out’ message to counterfeiting con-men who do not care about ripping off consumers, selling unsafe products or damaging local businesses. That such a large and diverse market can implement Real Deal procedures, goes to show that running a fake-free event is something that can be achieved by all market and car boot venues working in partnership with their local trading standards service.”
Information on the Real Deal Charter, and a list of all markets that have signed up its fake-free ethos, can be found at www.realdealmarkets.co.uk